Sunday, May 24, 2009


This recipe for tepache is an adaptation of one in The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy

1 large ripe pineapple (about 4 lbs.), crown
and base removed, outside scrubbed and rinsed
2 whole cloves
2 whole allspice
1 4"-long piece canela (Mexican cinnamon) or
cinnamon stick
1 lb. piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar), crushed,
or 1 lb. dark brown sugar
1 1⁄2 cups light beer

1. Cut the pineapple (unpeeled) into 1 1⁄2" cubes. Put the cloves, allspice, and canela into a mortar and crush roughly with a pestle. Transfer the spices to a large 4- to 5-quart earthenware or glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add the pineapple cubes and 8 cups of water and stir to combine. Cover the jar with a lid and set in a location that receives plenty of sun (or in a warm spot) and let sit until mixture begins to ferment and become bubbly on top, about 3 days, depending on the temperature.

2. Put the piloncillo and 1 1⁄2 cups water into a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved, 4–5 minutes. Remove from heat, let the sugar syrup cool slightly, and then add with the beer to the fermenting pineapple mixture. Stir well, cover, and leave in a warm place for 2–3 days longer, until it smells strongly fermented and appears bubbly throughout. Strain the mixture through a few layers of cheesecloth lining a fine-mesh sieve into a clean jar; discard the solids. Serve the tepache chilled or poured over ice. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chiles De La Sierra

One Day Ahead
6 Medium Ancho chiles, wiped clean
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 Cup vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 Cup water
2 Ounces queso anejo, romano, or sardo cheese, finely grated (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican Oregano

To Serve
1 Small Onion, thinly sliced
6 Romaine lettuce leaves
1 Medium Tomato, sliced

A day ahead, heat an ungreased skillet or comal over medium heat and let the chiles heat through, turning them over from time to time, until they have softened and become flexible. Flatten each chile out as much as possible, then make a slit down one side and halfway around the top, to which the stem is attached. Remove the seeds and veins.

Pescado En Cilantro

Taken from Diana Kennedy's book "The Essential Cuisines of Mexico."

A 3- 3.5 Pound Red Snapper
1 Scant teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1.5 Cups thinly sliced white onions
1/3 Cup fresh lime juice
1/3 Cup Olive oil
3 Jalapeno chilies en escabeche
3 Tablespoons juice from the Chile can
2 Cups roughly chopped cilantro

Have the fish cleaned, leaving the head and tail on. Prick the fish all over with a coarse-tined fork, rub in the salt and and pepper. Place the fish onto a baking dish with half the onions underneath and the rest on top. Pour the lime juice over it and set it aside for about 1 hour, turning it over once during that time.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cover the dish and bake the fish for about 15 minutes on each side.
Add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking the fish, covered, until it is just cooked, basting it from time to time with the juices in the dish - about 20 minutes.
Note: This dish is also delicious cold, if there is any left over.